China

China

Fisker Karma

Stick a fork in `em, because Fisker ’s about as cooked as it can get. As much as it saddens us, we have to admit that the once promising brand is set to be sold or head into bankruptcy. So far, Fisker has two interested parties, per a report from Reuters, that are looking to buy it out.

The most aggressive team is headed up by Bob Lutz’s VL Automotive and China’s Wanxiang Group, as they reportedly put in a bid of $20 million for the spiraling company. $20 million may sound like a big number for a nearly bankrupt company, but it is a far cry from the $2.2 billion valuation given to Fisker in the spring of 2012.

Of course, no one involved in the process is confirming the report of this super-low bid, but folks close to the situation are claiming that it is true and that Fisker is considering the offer.

There is one other team that is interested in purchasing the company outright, but there aren’t any reports of them bidding. However, there are reports that a third investment group is interested in buying out DOE’s $171 million interest in the company, which came as a result of the loan Fisker received in its infancy that was later frozen.

This is all we have for now, but we’ll keep an eye out for more reports as time goes on.

Click past the jump to read more about VL Automotive’s interest in Fisker

Source: Reuters

If our love affair with the Ford Raptor isn’t quite clear, please allow us to let you know that we think it is one of the most bad-ass trucks ever built. It not only has a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with a mean 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque that gets it to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, but it is also built to handle some of the meanest terrain you could imagine driving a street-legal truck on.

Well, we apparently aren’t the only ones that fell in love with it, as a one was displayed at the Cipate Police Equipment Exhibition in Beijing, China. And this is no normal Raptor, as Haiqiao Industry removed the bed and put a massive RV-like cab on the backside.

So, why would a police vehicle need a cab? Well, this particular model is designed for long-distance border patrol in China. Inside this massive cab is a bed, so the officer can take a much-needed break after a long shift; a cooking set, so the patrolling officer is properly fed; and a set of red seats for taking a load of comfortably.

This Raptor isn’t all comfort either, as it comes with the standard police equipment, including: search lights, a light bar and a speaker.

What makes this even more interesting is that the Raptor isn’t even available in China . Nope, Haiqiao gets them shipped in on the “grey market” from California and dresses them up for the government. It seems odd for a Government to purchase grey market vehicles, but so be it.

This particular model runs 1.3 million Chinese Yuan ($211,500) and only the Chinese government can purchase them for now, but the company is debating opening up to the civilian market.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Posted on by Simona  

A few days ago, Bugatti dropped a teaser image of what we thought would be the company’s long-rumored 1,600-horsepower Bugatti SuperVeyron . However, it looks like the teaser image was in fact for a special Veyron Vitesse WRC Limited Edition built to celebrate the company’s latest record.

A Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse with Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu behind the wheel scored a new record for the company: it managed to hit a top speed of 254.04 mph. The result was achieved at the Volkswagen Group’s proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien and was officially confirmed by German organization for Technical Inspection and Certification TÜV.

The special edition Veyron Vitesse WRC will be limited to only eight units and will be priced at €1.99 million (or $2.6 million at the current exchange rates).

Updated 04/26/2013: Bugatti has unveiled a first official video for the Veyron Vitesse WRC Limited Edition that was unveiled a few days ago in Shanghai. The video offers a few shots from the car’s record-breaking exploits and offers a few more details on the supercar. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse WRC.

Posted on by David Hurth  

Ford is looking to re-launch the classic Escort nameplate for the Chinese market. The new Ford Escort Concept debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show and will be a compact four door sedan in its reincarnation.

The Escort name brings back memories of the 60’s and 70’s cars that were popular rally racing cars or the popular selling cars from the 80’s and 90’s. The nameplate is still very big in China where older cars command a premium.

The concept has styling much like that of other recent Fords, such as the Focus and Fusion . The front features a large angular grille that sets the styling tone for the vehicle. It also features bold lines that flow smoothly from front to back.

The car looks to help Ford gather more sales in the emerging Chinese market, as the American automaker is tries to gain foothold in the Asian market. The hope is that the Escort will give them a leg up.

Hit the jump to read more details about the Ford Escort Concept.

Posted on by Simona  

It is not a secret anymore that the Chinese market is clamoring for longer versions of the models sold in markets like the U.S. or Europe. So, it should be no surprise to anyone that Mercedes has unveiled a long-wheelbase version of the new E-Class at Auto China 2013 in Shanghai.

The model measures 5,019 mm (197.59 inches) in length so it offers an extra 140 mm (5.51 inches) legroom in the rear. Also, as a first for the model, the new E-Class Long offers two different front ends. The standard version features the classic, three-dimensional saloon radiator grille in three-louver look, while the Sport Sedan version comes with the sporty front end featuring a centrally positioned star.

Chinese customers can choose between two variants — luxurious Sedan and the Sport Sedan — and three trim levels — E 260 L, E 300 L and E 400 L.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Mercedes E-Class Long.

Posted on by Simona  

Press days for the 2013 New York Auto Show are over, so now it’s time to move our attention to the next show on the docket: Auto Shanghai 2013 set to start on April 20. In the Big Apple, Nissan unveiled the hybrid version for the Nissan Pathfinder and the company will bring an all-new concept car called Friend-ME to China.

All the information we have on the new concept up to this point is a teaser image that reveals an innovative set of headlights and Nissan’s announcement that the new Friend-ME will feature a unique center console that allows "Four Seats, One Mind Connectivity" - equal information sharing among all aboard.

According to Nissan, the new Friend-ME is "designed for the vibrant, young generation in China, one of most exciting segments in the fastest-growing automobile markets in the world."

Alongside the new Friend-ME concept, Nissan will also display 20 new models in Shanghai.

Updated 04/20/2013: Nissan has officially unveiled the Friend-ME Concept. See all of the details after the jump.

Fisker Karma

Fisker is in some serious trouble, as disagreements between management and its founder resulted in Henrik Fisker to step down from his position. Fiskers only real hope at this point is to find a buyer or a strategic partner to help alleviate its financial issues. For a long time, Geely Geely – Volvo’s owner – would end up being the high bidder, mostly due to their interest in Fisker’s Delaware assembly plant. According to a report from Reuters, Geely has pulled out of the bidding process because of the DOE loan conditions.

This leaves only one bidder in the running for Fisker and that bidder is China-owned Dongfeng Motor Group Co. It is unclear at this time whether Fisker Fisker will automatically accept Dongfeng’s offer, but at this point, that look like the only real option. Depending on the terms of a potential deal, this could result in Fisker becoming partially owned by China – creepy…

Regardless of how things pan out, we really want to see Fisker survive all of this. We’ll continue to keep you updated.

Source: Reuters

When you mention the name Dartz within the automotive circle, you’re not going to be greeted with the kind of response that you’d normally get for any other kind of automaker in the world.

See, Dartz has long been a different brand. They don’t build sedans. They don’t build sports cars. Heck, they don’t even build supercars. Where their specialty lies is building trucks. And not just any trucks, mind you. These guys from Russia build trucks that adhere by its tagline of “Bullet Proof Trend Setters.”

To say that Dartz is anything but conventional is to say that Paris Hilton has acting skills. There’s nothing ordinary about this company and their latest offering, a special China-only luxury track called the Black Snake, is no different.

Built to celebrate the incoming Year of the Snake, the Dartz Black Snake is the kind massive yet opulent vehicle that will immediately catch your eye. And to be honest, if your list of clients include Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Admiral General Aladeen, then you immediately gain credibility as an automaker unlike any other.

Find out more about the Dartz Black Snake after the jump

GAC Group was the only Chinese automaker present at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show , yet they did present a pretty unique concept that caught the attention of a lot of people.

The concept is called the E-JET, a hybrid sedan prototype whose design characteristics remind us of another just-introduced vehicle at Detroit (Is this the Chinese cousin of the CLA Class ?). The E-JET measures 4,570 x 1,790 x 1,490 mm (179.9 x 70.4 x 58.6 inches) with a 2,620 mm (103.1-inch) wheelbase. Not too bad for what looks like a compact sedan.

As a range-extending hybrid, the E-JET is powered by a 1.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that produces 60 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque. It also has a permanent-magnet motor that produces a peak output of 127 horsepower and a permanent-magnet generator produces 40 horsepower. On top of all that, a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery can power the E-JET in electric mode for up to 62 miles.

Put all of its powertrain capabilities together and you have a car that boasts of a total range of 373 miles with a fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km (123.8 mpg U.S. or 148.6 mpg UK), a 0 to 31 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 99 mph.

We’re not entirely sure if GAC has any intention of building a production model for the E-JET. But we do have to give it to them; this is one interesting concept.

If you needed any more proof of the burgeoning auto gold mine that China is fast becoming, don’t look any further than Chevrolet releasing a special edition Cruze in that market.

We get limited run exotics and the supercar variety, but a Cruze? It’s not exactly the first model you’ll think of when releasing a special edition model in China. But that’s the kind of growth the Chinese market has had in recent years, enough for automakers like Chevy to green light a unique variant for a mid-size car like Cruze.

In any case, the Cruze WTCC Edition was designed to celebrate Chevrolet’s success in the WTCC racing series. The car itself carries race-inspired graphics and a slew of new body kit components that include a new rear bumper, modified side skirts, and a truck-mounted spoiler. Looking at the overall product,

As far as the engine goes, the Cruze WTCC Edition comes with a choice of powertrains, including a 1.6-liter gas engine that produces 115 horsepower and 111 pounds-per-feet of torque and a more powerful 1.8-liter gas engine that delivers 145 horsepower and 130 pounds-per-feet of torque.

For a chance to own one, you’ll have to be in China with 123,900 yuan, or about $20,000, to spend.


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